The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 2)

The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here:

DHS has also established the Law Enforcement Support Center (“LESC”), which is administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and serves as a national enforcement information center, answering queries from state and local officials regarding immigration status. (Page 7, lines 7 to 14).

We will revisit the Law Enforcement Support Center later in this post.

At this point I will make two comments;

1). The “DHS has also established the Law Enforcement Support Center”, the LESC was established by the DHS at the express instruction of Congress.

The DHS didn’t just decide to set up a Law Enforcement Support Center on its own volition, Congress instructed the DHS to do so. Congress then appropriated the funds for the DHS to proceed.

2). The Judge makes no mention of why Congress “ordered” the DHS to set up the LESC. The Judge does not address the Congressional intent behind the LESC, the reason or intent of Congress in appropriating funds for the LESC. The Judge failed to do this despite the fact that the Federal Appellate and U.S. Supreme Court have directed her to do exactly that.

Judicial opinions concerning Federal Immigration Law are to be guided by the intent of Congress, not the desires of the Executive or the whimsy of the Executive Agencies. 

B. Overview of S.B. 1070

1. Section 1

Section 1 of S.B. 1070 states that “the intent of [S.B. 1070] is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona” and that “[t]he provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.” Section 1 also states that “there is a compelling interest in the cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of Arizona.”

2. Section 2

Section 2 of S.B. 1070 adds A.R.S. § 11-1051. Section 2 contains twelve separate subsections. Subsection 2(A) prohibits Arizona officials, agencies and political subdivisions from limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. A.R.S. § 11- 1051(A). Subsection 2(B) requires officers to make a reasonable attempt, when practicable, (Page 7, Line 16 to 28)

to determine an individual’s immigration status during any lawful stop, detention, or arrest where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is unlawfully present in the United States. Id. § 11-1051(B). Subsection 2(B) also requires that all persons who are arrested have their immigration status verified prior to release. Id. Subsections 2(B) and 2(E) provide the process for verifying immigration status and list documents that create a presumption of lawful presence. Id. § 11-1051(B), (E). Mandatory stops for the purpose of immigration status verification are not required or authorized by Subsection 2(B). Subsection 2(C) requires notification of ICE or Customs and Border Protection whenever an unlawfully present alien is discharged or assessed a monetary obligation. Id. § 11-1051(C). Subsections 2(D) and (F) permit law enforcement to securely transport unlawfully present aliens and send, receive, and exchange information related to immigration status. Id. § 11-1051(D), (F). (At page 8, lines 1 to 11).

In addition, Subsection 2(H) permits legal residents of Arizona to bring actions in state court “to challenge any official or agency of [Arizona] that adopts or implements a policy or practice that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.” Id. § 11-1051(H). Subsections 2(I) and (J) address the civil penalties arising from such civil suits, and Subsection 2(K) provides that law enforcement officers are indemnified against reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the officer in connection with any suit initiated under this Section unless the officer is found to have acted in bad faith. Id. § 11-1051(I)-(K). (At page 8, lines 12 to 19).

3. Section 3

Section 3 of S.B. 1070 adds A.R.S. § 13-1509, which provides that “a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of [8 U.S.C. §§] 1304(e) or 1306(a),” federal statutes that require aliens to carry documentation of registration and penalize the willful failure to register. A.R.S. § 13-1509(A). Violation of Section 3 is a class 1 misdemeanor and results in a maximum fine of $100 and a maximum of 20 days in jail for a first violation and up to 30 days in jail for any subsequent violation. Id. § 13-1509(H). Section 3 limits a violator’s eligibility for a suspended sentence, probation, pardon, and commutation of a sentence and requires violators to pay jail costs. Id. (At page 8, lines 19 to 28)

§ 13-1509(D), (E). In the enforcement of Section 3, immigration status may be determined by a law enforcement officer authorized by the federal government or pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c). Id. § 13-1509(B). Pursuant to Subsection 3(C), law enforcement officers are not permitted to consider race, color, or national origin in the enforcement of Section 3. Id. § 13- 1509(C). Finally, Section 3 does not apply to “a person who maintains authorization from the federal government to remain in the United States.” Id. § 13-1509(F). (Page 9, lines 1 to 6)

4. Section 4

In Section 4 of S.B. 1070, the Arizona Legislature revised A.R.S. § 13-2319 by adding a provision that permits officers enforcing Arizona’s human smuggling statute to stop any person who is operating a motor vehicle if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that the person is in violation of any civil traffic law. Id. § 13-2319(E). Section 4 does not make any other changes or additions to Arizona’s human smuggling statute, A.R.S. § 13-2319. (Page 9, lines 7 to 12)

5. Section 5

Section 5 of S.B. 1070 adds two provisions to the Arizona Criminal Code, A.R.S. §§ 13-2928 and 13-2929. A.R.S. § 13-2928(A) provides that it is unlawful for an occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street, roadway, or highway and is impeding traffic to attempt to hire a person for work at another location. Id. § 13-2928(A). Similarly, A.R.S. § 13-2928(B) provides that it is unlawful for a person to enter a motor vehicle in order to be hired if the vehicle is stopped on a street, roadway, or highway and is impeding traffic. Id. § 13-2928(B). Finally, A.R.S. § 13-2928(C) provides that it is unlawful “for a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in this state.” Id. § 13-2928(C). Violation of A.R.S. § 13-2928 is a class 1 misdemeanor. Id. § 13-2928(F). Section 5 of S.B. 1070 also creates A.R.S. § 13-2929, which provides that it is unlawful for a person who is in violation of a criminal offense to: (1) transport or move or attempt to transport or move an alien in Arizona in furtherance of the alien’s unlawful presence in the United States; (2) conceal, harbor, or shield or attempt to conceal, harbor, (At Page 9, lines 12 to 28). shield an alien from detection in Arizona; and (3) encourage or induce an alien to come to or live in Arizona. Id. § 13-2929(A)(1)-(3). In order to violate A.R.S. § 13-2929(A), a person must also know or recklessly disregard the fact that the alien is unlawfully present in the United States. Id. Violation of A.R.S. § 13-2929 is a class 1 misdemeanor. Id. § 13-2929(F). (At Page 10, lines 1 to 4)

6. Section 6

Section 6 of S.B. 1070 amends A.R.S. § 13-3883 to permit an officer to arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that “the person to be arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”Id. § 13-3883(A)(5). (At page 10, lines 5 to 9)

 7. Sections 7-13

Sections 7, 8, and 9 amend Arizona’s law imposing sanctions on employers who hire unlawfully present aliens. See A.R.S. §§ 23-212, 23-212.01, 23-214. Section 10 amends A.R.S. § 28-3511 to allow for the immobilization or impoundment of vehicles used in the transporting and concealing of unlawfully present aliens where the driver of the vehicle knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that the alien was unlawfully present. Section 11 creates the “gang and immigration intelligence team enforcement mission fund” for civil penalties paid pursuant to Subsection 2(I). Finally, Section 12 provides for the severance of any unconstitutional provisions, and Section 13 provides a short title for the enactment. (Page 10, lines 10 to 18)

C. Procedural Posture

The United States filed its Complaint challenging the constitutionality of S.B. 1070 on July 6, 2010, naming as Defendants the State of Arizona and Governor Brewer in her official capacity (collectively, “Arizona”). On the same day, it also filed a Motion requesting that the Court preliminarily enjoin Arizona from enforcing S.B. 1070 until the Court can make a final determination as to its constitutionality. (Doc. 6, Pl.’s Lodged Proposed Mot. for Prelim. Inj.) (Page 10, Lines 19 to 24).

The United States argues principally that the power to regulate immigration is vested exclusively with the federal government, and the provisions of S.B. 1070 are therefore preempted by federal law. The Court held a Hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion on July 22, 2010(Page 10, Lines 25 to 28)

The Executive Agencies presenting these arguments are not exclusively empowered to do anything …. Congress has the “exclusive power” to create and write our Immigration Laws, those laws that regulate who can legally enter the Country … the Executive Agencies who brought this lawsuit share “concurrent” responsibility for enforcement of the Immigration Laws.

When the above paragraph, “The United States argues principally that the power to regulate immigration is vested exclusively with the federal government” it is the Department of Justice, not the Congress, who is presenting the argument. (“the Hearing”). S.B. 1070 has an effective date of July 29, 2010. The Court now considers the United States’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (Page 11, Lines 1 and 2)


A. General Legal Standards

“A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 365, 374 (2008) (citations omitted). The United States primarily asserts that the statutory provisions contained in S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law. The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution makes federal law “the supreme law of the land.” U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the federal government has broad and exclusive authority to regulate immigration, supported by both enumerated and implied constitutional powers.4 While holding that the “[p]ower to regulate immigration is unquestionably exclusively a federal power,” the Supreme Court concluded that not every state enactment “which in any way deals with aliens is a regulation of immigration and thus per se preempted by this constitutional power, whether latent or exercised.De Canas v. Bica, 424 U.S. 351, 354-355 (1976). (Page 11, Lines 3 to 17)

The following paragraphs are very important, as will be seen in the next few pages of this opinion. In the following paragraphs the Judge reviews the topic of “Federal preemption”, the basis of the Department of Justice Lawsuit. For the DOJ to prevail in this suit, it must present evidence to support its “allegations” that the Arizona Law violates one of the three standards for preemption. Let me state that again; the Department of Justice lawsuit cannot prevail unless the Department of Justice can establish a violation of one of three stated elements of the doctrine of  Federal preemption.

Federal preemption can be either express or implied. Chicanos Por La Causa v. Napolitano (Chicanos Por La Causa I), 544 F.3d 976, 982 (9th Cir. 2008), cert. granted, 78 U.S.L.W. 3065, 78 U.S.L.W. 3754, 78 U.S.L.W. 3762 (U.S. June 28, 2010) (No. 09-115).

There are two types of implied preemption: field preemption and conflict preemption. Id. Field preemption occurs “where ‘the depth and breadth of a congressional scheme . . .occupies the legislative field.’” Id. (quoting Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 U.S. 525 (Page 11, lines 17 to 23)

Once again, it has been held that the “Congressional Branch of the Federal Government” has the exclusive right to regulate Immigration, not the Executive Branch …

Preemption: There are three and only three different types of preemption.

1).  Express Preemption

Where Congress, not the Executive Branch clearly and unequivocally states that the area of law is reserved for the Federal Government. Express preemption occurs only when a federal statute explicitly confirms Congress’s intention to preempt state law. English v. General Elec. Co., 496 U.S. 72, 78-79 (1990). “If a federal law contains an express pre-emption clause, it does not immediately end the inquiry because the question of the substance and scope of Congress’ displacement of state law still remains.” Altria Group v. Good, 555 U.S. ___ (2008), Docket Number: 07-562.

Implied preemption can occur in two ways: field preemption or conflict preemption. Massachusetts Ass’n of HMOs v. Ruthardt, 194 F.3d 176, 179 (1st Cir. 1999).

 2. Conflict preemption

Under the Supremacy Clause, any state law that conflicts with a federal law is preempted. Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824). Conflict arises when it is impossible to comply with both the state and federal regulations, or when the state law interposes an obstacle to the achievement of Congress’s discernible objectives. Gade v. National Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass’n, 505 U.S. 88, 98 (1992).

3. Field preemption

Even without a conflict between federal and state law or an express provision for preemption, the courts will infer an intention to preempt state law if the federal regulatory scheme is so pervasive as to “occupy the field” in that area of the law, i.e. to warrant an inference that Congress did not intend the states to supplement it. Gade v. National Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass’n, 505 U.S. 88, 98 (1992). See also Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp. For example, the courts have held that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempts state laws directed at conduct actually or arguably prohibited or protected by the NLRA or conduct Congress intended to leave unregulated. San Diego Bldg. Trades Council v. Garmon, 359 U.S. 236, 244 (1959); Machinists v. Wisconsin Emp. Rel. Commission, 427 U.S. 132, 140-48 (1976).

A Federal Claim of “preemption” must satisfy one of these three sets of criteria.

Foot Note 4

 A variety of enumerated powers implicate the federal government’s long-recognized immigration power, including the Commerce Clause, the Naturalization Clause, and the Migration and Importation Clause. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3-4; art. I, § 9, cl. 1; see also Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698, 706 (1893); Chae Chan Ping v. United States, 130 U.S. 581, 603-04 (1889).

(Page 11, lines 25 to 28).

 Implicate?  What and where?

Again the Immigration Laws of the United States are created by the Congressional Branch of the Federal Government, not the Executive Branch.  When one reads “Federal Government’s Immigration Power” – that power rests with Congress. Any power enumerated in United States Immigration Law has been so enumerated by the Congress of the United States not the Executive Branch. Again, the United States Supreme Court has instructed the lower Federal Courts to look to the intent of Congress when they interpret our Federal Immigration Statutes.

541 (2001)). Conflict preemption describes a situation in which “compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility or where state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.” Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). An actual, as opposed to hypothetical or potential, conflict must exist for conflict preemption to apply. Id. (Page 12, lines 1 to 5).

as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.”. The intent of Congress. Note that the Court has now defined “conflict preemption”.

B. Likelihood of Success on the Merits

The United States must first demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits. Winter, 129 S. Ct. at 374. The United States challenges S.B. 1070 on its face, before it takes effect on July 29, 2010. (Pl.’s Mot. at 7.) “A facial challenge to a legislative Act is, of course, the most difficult challenge to mount successfully, since the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid.” United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 745 (1987). The Supreme Court later observed, in considering a facial challenge, “[S]ome Members of the Court have criticized the Salerno formulation, [but] all agree that a facial challenge must fail where a statute has a ‘plainly legitimate sweep.’” Wash. State Grange v. Wash. State Republican Party, 552 U.S. 442, 449 (2008) (quoting Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 739-40 & n.7 (1997) (Stevens, J., concurring in judgments)). In deciding a facial challenge, courts “must be careful not to go beyond the statute’s facial requirements and speculate about ‘hypothetical’ or ‘imaginary’ cases.” Id. at 449-50 (quoting United States v. Raines, 362 U.S. 17, 22 (1960)). (Page 12, lines 6 to 19)

1. Preemption of Overall Statutory Scheme

As discussed above, S.B. 1070 contains several provisions adding to and amending Arizona law. While the United States has requested that the Court enjoin S.B. 1070 in its entirety, it specifically challenges only select provisions of S.B. 1070. (See Pl.’s Mot. at 12 n.8 (noting that “the instant motion does not seek to enjoin” Sections 7-9 of S.B. 1070 and that Sections 11-13 “are administrative provisions which are not the subject of this dispute”).) The United States also argues that the overall statutory scheme of S.B. 1070 is preempted because it attempts to set immigration policy at the state level and interferes and conflicts with federal(Page 12, lines 20 to 28).

Again, the “Federal” preemption argument. I’m looking forward to reading the specifics of how the Arizona Law is preempted, not by the imaginings of the Obama Administration and its Executive Agencies, but how the Arizona Law is in conflict with one of the three specific types of preemption. The Administrative Agencies must present proof that the Arizona Law violates one of the three enumerated types of “preemption”. I’m looking forward to reading the Court’s analysis of the Congressional intent…                

 immigration law, foreign relations, and foreign policy. (Id. at 12-25.) Section 1 of S.B. 1070 declares a unified, state-wide public policy, providing: The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States. S.B. 1070 § 1. The United States urges the Court to enjoin S.B. 1070 as an integrated statutory enactment with interlocking provisions. (Pl.’s Mot. at 12-25.) The United States asserts that Section 1 animates and “infuses” the operative sections of the law. (Hr’g Tr. 13:4-14:5.) “[W]hen the constitutionality of a state statute is challenged, principles of state law guide the severability analysis and [courts] should strike down only those provisions which are inseparable from the invalid provisions.” Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Maleng, 522 F.3d 874, 886 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Tucson Woman’s Clinic v. Eden, 379 F.3d 531, 556-57 (9th Cir. 2004)). “A court should not declare an entire statute unconstitutional if the constitutional portions can be severed from those which are unconstitutional.” State v. Ramsey, 831 P.2d 408, 413 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1992) (citing State v. Prentiss, 786 P.2d 932, 937 (Ariz. 1989)). Under Arizona law, it is well settled . . . that where the valid parts of a statute are effective and enforceable standing alone and independent of those portions declared unconstitutional, the court will not disturb the valid law if the valid and invalid portions are not so intimately connected as to raise the presumption the legislature would not have enacted one without the other, and the invalid portion was not the inducement of the act. Selective Life Ins. Co. v. Equitable Life Assurance Soc’y of the U.S., 422 P.2d 710, 715 (Ariz. 1967) (citing McCune v. City of Phx., 317 P.2d 537, 542 (Ariz. 1957)). In determining whether potentially unconstitutional provisions of S.B. 1070 may be severed from the remainder of the enactment, the primary concern is legislative intent. See id. at 715-16 (citing City of Mesa v. Killingsworth, 394 P.2d 410, 413 (Ariz. 1964)). Where a statute contains a severability provision, Arizona courts generally attempt to give effect to the severability clause. Id. at 715. (Page 13, lines 1 to 38)

Section 12(A) of S.B. 1070 provides for the severability of S.B. 1070’s provisions, stating that if any provision of the Act “is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions . . . that can be given effect without the invalid provision.” Arizona’s Legislature intended the provisions of S.B. 1070 to be severable in order to preserve the constitutionalprovisions of the Act. As a result, where the provisions of S.B. 1070 are “effective and enforceable standing alone and independent” of any unconstitutional provisions and the valid portions are not so “intimately connected” to any invalid provision as to raise the presumption that the Arizona Legislature would not have enacted the valid provisions without the invalid provisions, S.B. 1070’s provisions are severable. See Selective Life Ins., 422 P.2d at 715.

This writer will defer comments concerning how the Judge’s willfully “over looked” opportunities to sever and keep portions of the Arizona Law, as she was required to do …

While Section 1 of S.B. 1070 provides a statement of the Act’s intent and purpose, it does not create a single and unified statutory scheme incapable of careful provision by provision analysis. The Court cannot enjoin a purpose; the Arizona Legislature is free to express its viewpoint and intention as it wishes, and Section 1 has no operative function. However, this is not to say that Section 1 is irrelevant. The expression of the Legislature’s intent provides context and backdrop for the functional enactments of S.B. 1070, and the Court considers it in this capacity as it analyzes the other provisions of the law. S.B. 1070 will not be enjoined in its entirety. The Court will not ignore the obligation to preserve the constitutional provisions of a state legislative enactment or S.B. 1070’s severability clause. The Court thus evaluates the constitutionality of the individual provisions of S.B. 1070 challenged by the United States. (Page 14, lines 1 through 20).

We are approximately 1/3 of the way through the legal opinion and the Judge has not offered a legal finding or conclusion.

The Judge has made two false statements,

1). “Unlawful presence in the United States is not a federal crime” and

2). That an illegal alien needs to have been “convicted” in a criminal proceeding and subsequently deported before their unauthorized “re-entry” could be considered a crime”.

In the section immediately below, the Judge begins her consideration of the Arizona Law, in preparation for her first ruling.

The issue that will be addressed is this: The Arizona Legislature stated an intention that those individuals who have been “arrested” have their immigration status determined before the person is released and that any law enforcement officer presented with one of 11 different types of identification, should presume that the individual presenting the identification is a lawful resident of the United States.

 A.R.S. § 11-1051(B). Section 2(B) also states that if an officer is presented with one of the following forms of identification, the officer is to presume that the person is not an unauthorized alien: (1) a valid Arizona driver license or identification license; (2) a valid tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification; or (3) a valid United States federal, state, or local form of identification, provided that the issuing entity requires proof of citizenship before issuance. Id.

The United States argues that this section is preempted because (1) it will result in the harassment of lawfully present aliens and (2) will burden federal resources and impede federal enforcement and policy priorities. (Pl.’s Mot. at 25-32.) (Page 15, lines 1 to 8).

 The Judge’s opinion in this section is in artfully worded. It is actually quite amusing. It is a shame that the subject matter is so serious …

 The problem with the wording in the Judge’s opinion is occasioned by the language of the Department of Justice’s pleading.

Let us help the Judge do her job correctly.

Or let us pretend we are the Judge’s Constitutional Law Professor and this is the Judge’s final exam in her first year Constitutional Law Class.

Step One: Examine the pleading. What is the Department of Justice alleging?

“The United States (The DOJ) argues that this section is preempted because

1). It will result in the harassment of lawfully present aliens, and

2). Will burden federal resources and impede federal enforcement and policy priorities.

Step 2: Determine if a “preemption argument” has been made or determine if the pleading “fails on its face”, because it fails to state a claim enforcebale under the Federal doctrine of preemption.

There are three and only three enumerated types of “preemption”. Does the lawsuit state a claim under one of three enumerated “preemptions”?

Claim 1: “It will result in the harassment of lawfully present aliens,”

Which of the three “preemptions” does this claim fall under?

A). Express preemption: Has the Congress expressly stated that the Federal Government has an exclusive right to the “harassment of lawfully present aliens”. How funny …. The Government has not stated a cause of action of express preemption …

B). Conflict Preemption: Does the DOJ allege that “compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility”… as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.”  An actual, as opposed to hypothetical or potential conflict….

No,  The DOJ has failed to state a cause of action under the theory “conflict preemption”.

C). Field preemption: Has the Congress indicated that the States should be denied the opportunity to supplement the Federal Government’s harassment of “lawfully present aliens”.

Again, we are conducting the analysis that Judge Bolton was required to complete prior to rendering her decision. A claim of harassment does not fall within the purview of the Federal preemption doctrine. A claim of harassment may serve as the basis of a “civil rights claim”, however, it is not an appropriate topic for consideration under the “preemption doctrine”.

We are not determining whether the Arizona law will, in fact, result in the harassment of “lawfully present aliens”, because that is not what is required at this point in time.

We are, as the Judge should have, evaluating whether the DOJ’s claim, assuming the claims are true, meet the requirements of one of the three classifications for preemption.

The answer is an unequivocal NO. The claim, as stated, is not one subject to the Federal preemption doctrine.   

Read Part 1 here:

Read Part 3 here:

Read Part 4 Here:  

%d bloggers like this: